School Lunch Meat Safety Improved to … Fast Food Status

Industrial Ground Beef

The USDA is enacting more stringent safety regulations for ground meats provided to school lunch programs. This will bring the safety programs up to the safety levels of no less than … hold your breath … fast food burgers.

The U.S. Agriculture Department announced Friday that it will require all ground beef purchased for the National School Lunch Program to adhere to new safety standards after July 1. The program supplies ground beef, chicken and other food for more than 31 million schoolchildren.

The rules bring school lunches “right in line with contemporary standards,” says Dave Theno, a food safety consultant who developed a rigorous safety program for Jack in the Box … read more from USA Today…

The change requires more frequent inspections of the meat quality as it is being processed. After the high fives and everyone getting a pat on the back for this important milestone, we have only 2 questions/comments:

1. Why now? Dear USDA, where have you been for the last few decades? Why isn’t there a single, stringent standard for meat safety across the board? And wouldn’t it make sense for kids to get an even higher standard than the rest of the population?

2. Where else do our children’s lunches lag behind? We already know that they are a nutritional atrocity, cheaply manufactured from surplus agricultural commodities into franken-foods that technically meet a nutrition checklist, but practically stuff our kids with salt fat and sugar, not to speak of chemicals and colorings. But where else in the cost cutting efforts are our kids shortchanged? And how will we ever find out?

  • Jim Purdy

    “salt fat and sugar, not to speak of chemicals and colorings”

    Surely we can do better than this.

  • Zach Bijesse

    “stuff our kids with salt fat and sugar, not to speak of chemicals and colorings.” Fat’s good for you.

  • Mendy Heaps

    Why is the Department of Agriculture in charge of feeding school children? Couldn’t this be looked upon as a conflict of interest (surplus agricultural commodities = school lunches)? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the Department of Education to decide what school children should eat?
    But wait – would they do any better?